ESPN+ also won't have a standalone app: It's actually baked into the main ESPN app for iOS, Apple TV, Android, Amazon devices, as well as the web. The network says it decided to do this to create a single door to all of its digital products, a similar strategy to when it integrated WatchESPN into its namesake application in 2015. With the updated ESPN app, which arrives today as part of the ESPN+ debut, users will get access to existing features like news, scores and favorite teams alongside content from the new streaming offering. Those who have a cable or satellite account will get the full experience, though, since they'll be able to watch live and on-demand games intended for broadcast TV and shows such as SportsCenter.
That said, for $5 per month, ESPN+ does offer sports fans tremendous value, particularly the ones who have cut the cord and rely on over-the-air TV. The service will have more than 180 MLB and NHL games during the season, including one per day based on the league's schedule. There's going to to be more than 250 MLS games, as well, plus "thousands" of live college games and events from sports including baseball, basketball, football, golf, softball, soccer, wrestling and gymnastics. It's worth noting that for leagues like MLB, NHL and MLS, ESPN+ will only be able to stream out-of-market games, and those will be picked by ESPN's programming team. That means that if you're, say, a Yankees fan living in New York, you won't be able to watch your team on ESPN+ due to the blackouts.
As part of its efforts to reach "underserved sports fans," ESPN+ will also feature a year-round boxing schedule thanks to a partnership with Top Rank Boxing, which will bring a "selection of exclusive main fights" to the app. And then there's PGA Tour live golf, Grand Slam tennis matches from Wimbledon, US Open and the Australian Open, as well as rugby and cricket -- the latter two are some of the most popular sports globally and will appeal to certain groups of people living in the US.
ESPN+ is available only in the States, and the company says there are no plans to expand to other countries, which makes sense considering it would be tough to get all of these license agreements elsewhere.
Beyond the live sports, one of the main draws of ESPN+ is that it will have exclusive original content, which subscribers will be able to watch live or on-demand. That includes 30 for 30 films like The Last Days of Knight, a documentary about the controversial college basketball coach Bob Knight. Not only that, but ESPN+ users are going to get access to the full 30 for 30 library, which consists of more than 100 movies. Detail, meanwhile, is a show created, written and hosted by NBA legend and Oscar winner (Dear Basketball) Kobe Bryant that'll air exclusively on ESPN+. It's a talk show where he'll break down games during the 2017-2018 NBA playoffs.